Gloria paid .40 cents each for 4 picture frames, and it wasn’t until 3 days later she discovered the 9th Cavalry image hidden securely between two mats, and on the underside the horse and carriage image featured above.
She tells me she’s never shared the images with anyone outside of her immediate family, only taking them to be appraised in 1994 and last week to Taos News, in the hope it would prompt a Black History Month feature.
Having lost her Husband in 1965, Gloria shared how the image of the soldiers helped to ease her grief. She’d often examine their faces, wondering about the lives of the 10 men.
So what have we learned and/or confirmed?
- The soldiers are in fact the 9th Regiment, Company G; also referred to as “G Troop”. The emblem on their hats confirm this — “9” at the top of the crossed sabers and “G” below, medals and uniform style.
- They are Buffalo Soldiers who we believe served in Texas, Kansas and New Mexico. It’s possible they were recruited in New Orleans in 1866.
- The medals they’re wearing are not Medals of Honor. We’re working to confirm what the medals represent, at least one medal appears to be for “marksmanship”.
- The image is believed to be a “reunion” shot, taken sometime after their service. The location to be determined.
- I’ve reached out to friends at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture for historical input and validation.
- True Lewis has enlisted the aid of researchers from the US Army War College to provide additional insight into G Troop’s history and service record.
- We’re hopeful we’ll be able to identify these men by name and who knows, possibly connect them to living descendants.
The above image was preserved and sold along with the 9th Regiment picture. Is it possible they are connected? Can anyone identify the building in the background?
When it’s all said and done, I’ll work with Gloria to find a permanent home for our Soldiers.
I believe they are speaking and will continue to guide us. They are true soldiers. They are fighting for freedom.